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Joseph Garner

Faculty Fellows
Professor of Comparative Medicine and, by courtesy, of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Joseph Garner, D.Phil., Professor, received his doctoral degree from the Department of Zoology at the University of Oxford, Great Britain, where he studied the developmental neuroethology of stereotypies in captive animals (1995-1999). His postdoctoral research in animal behavior and wellbeing was undertaken at UC Davis (1999-2004). He served as an Assistant (2004-2010) and an Associate (2010-2011) Professor of animal behavior and wellbeing in the Department of Animal Sciences at Purdue University, where he also held a courtesy appointment in the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences (2009-2011). Dr. Garner joined the Department of Comparative Medicine at Stanford in 2011. Here he oversees 3R’s services (Biostatistics consulting, Environmental enrichment & Behavioral management, Breeding colony management, Apparatus design & 3D printing) that help researchers implement new and emerging technologies, techniques and best practices in animal research that benefit both the wellbeing of research animals and the effectiveness, efficiency, reproducibility and translatability of the research.

The overarching theme of Dr. Garner’s research is understanding why most drugs (and other basic science findings) fail to translate into human outcomes; the role that animal models, animal methodology, and animal wellbeing play in in these failures; and developing new approaches to animal research which improve the translation and benefits of animal work through improvements in the wellbeing of animal participants. He is an internationally recognized expert in the behavior and wellbeing of laboratory mice, and abnormal behavior in animals in general, including awards from the National Center for the 3Rs (UK), the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science, the Swiss Laboratory Animal Science Association, and the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare. His current human health research is focused on animal and human studies in autism, trichotillomania, and compulsive skin-picking. The question driving all of this work is “Why does one sibling become ill and another does not?”, and the goal is to identify biomarkers leading to screening, prevention and personalized treatment options. Recognition of his work in human health includes being selected for Spectrum’s Ten Notable Papers in Autism Research for both 2017 and 2018. His publication record includes over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles, including papers in Science, PNAS, and Nature Methods.

Dr. Garner serves, or has served, as a council member for the International Society for Applied Ethology, an Editor for Applied Animal Behavior Science, a Special Topics section editor for the Journal of Animal Science, on the AAALAC Board of Trustees, on the SCAW Board of Trustees, on the NA3RsC board, on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Trichotillomania Learning Center, the Tourette Association of America, and the Beautiful You MRKH Foundation.